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Re: RC: Annual Board Meeting

In a message dated 01/24/2000 10:20:06 AM Pacific Standard Time, EquesB 

<< OK, BOD members, I would like to ask what is the official AERC viewpoint 
on Ride Managers riding their own rides?  Also, this would include the Ride 
Staff that represents themselves as not being in charge, yet, knows all that 
is going on and how it should go!  SO far I have seen 2 rides this fall, 
where the RM was riding the ride when there were incidents in camp trhat 
shouild have had direct supervision. One recent ride, the head vet indicated 
that he would not vet that ride again under those circumstances.  Do we have 
to lose quality vetting for the sake of a manager getting a few more miles? 
 If the Board is inclined would it be possible for AERC to issue a statement 
indicating that it is frowned upon and not reccomended? 

I am 1) a BOD member, 2) a ride manager and 3) a rider, in that order of 
priority.  I rarely ride one of our own rides, but I certainly want the 
option to do so if I wish.  Our own personal policy as ride managers is that 
at least one of our management team (family of 7 knowledgeable adults and one 
in training) must be on the ground being a problem spotter and solver.  As it 
works, there is one family member at each major vet check site and 1-2 roving 
ones.  I realize we are lucky to have all our family around us and that they 
know the ropes, but I'm just stating our policy.  Other ride managers must 
work it out their own way.  I feel it is absolutely essential that someone 
who is knowledgeable and competent is on the ground trouble shooting at all 
times throughout the ride.
AERC sanctioning application forms have a place for listing an alternate 
manager and the policy that if the listed RM is riding, the ALT RM must take 
his/her place and responsibility.  If this is not happening to the 
satisfaction of the riders, then there is an avenue for complaining and that 
is through the Protest & Grievance Committee, or call your regional 
sanctioning director and complain.  The regional SD has the responsibility of 
monitoring the rides as to satisfaction, i.e. mileage (too short or too long 
for listed mileage), ride management integrity, etc.  If the regional SD 
feels it is warranted, he/she may refuse to allow the offending ride to 
re-sanction.  It is preferable to discuss the problem with the RM and try to 
work out a solution, but in cases of persistant lack of compliance with AERC 
rules governing ride quality, the SD has the power to refuse re-sanctioning.
I personally would dislike seeing the BOD adopt more restrictive rules.  Ride 
management is a purely voluntary job and gets little thanks from most riders. 
 If too many restrictions are put on RMs, who's going to WANT to do the job 
anymore?  Something to think about ...  plus the fact that most AERC members' 
chant is "there are too many rules".  So don't restrict RMs too much or 
you'll lose them.  My opinion.  And remember, the next time you ride a ride 
you're really happy with, tell the RM that you had a great time, the trail 
was beautiful, and it was very well-marked (if this was the case).  If the 
trail was not well-marked, a gentle suggestion that "such and such a spot on 
the trail was a bit confusing and perhaps the ride manager might apprecitate 
the observation".  We RMs usually appreciate GENTLE suggestions, we don't 
appreciate whining and complaining.  It's all in how you go about it.  We 
don't want someone overdoing the compliments as it is a bit embarassing, but 
a sincere word about how much fun you had is very welcome.  And perhaps an 
acknowledgement of the amount of hard work the RM put into the ride, for it 
is truly a very challenging job.  Off my soapbox now ......

Barbara McCrary
Chair, RM Committee
Mgr., Castle Rock 50 & Swanton Pacific 100
Central coast CA

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